A Wikipedia co-founder called for a social media strike on July 4 and 5 to "demand that giant, manipulative corporations give us back control over our data, privacy, and user experience."
Larry Sanger outlined the proposal a post on his personal web site last week.
SOCIAL MEDIA STRIKE INFO TWEET— Larry Sanger (@lsanger) June 30, 2019
"Will you strike?" poll: https://t.co/VIFZEitsow
A large number of people taking part in the strike, Sanger wrote, would send a message of strong support for individually-owned data—which users can choose to keep private or public—and for social media services using a "use a common, universal set of standards and protocols."
Sanger also encouraged people to sign on to his "Declaration of Digital Independence."
That manifesto says, in part,
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Get our best delivered to your inbox.
We declare that we have unalienable digital rights, rights that define how information that we individually own may or may not be treated by others, and that among these rights are free speech, privacy, and security. Since the proprietary, centralized architecture of the Internet at present has induced most of us to abandon these rights, however reluctantly or cynically, we ought to demand a new system that respects them properly. The difficulty and divisiveness of wholesale reform means that this task is not to be undertaken lightly. For years we have approved of and even celebrated enterprise as it has profited from our communication and labor without compensation to us. But it has become abundantly clear more recently that a callous, secretive, controlling, and exploitative animus guides the centralized networks of the internet and the corporations behind them.
The declaration also accuses big tech companies of requiring "agreement to terms of service that are impossible for ordinary users to understand, and which are objectionably vague in ways that permit them to legally defend their exploitative practices."
Corporations have "marketed private data to advertisers in ways that no one would specifically assent to," wrote Sanger, and have "data-mined user content and behavior in sophisticated and disturbing ways."
"The vast power wielded by social networks of the early 21st century, putting our digital rights in serious jeopardy," Sanger wrote, "demonstrates that we must engineer new—but old-fashioned—decentralized networks that make such clearly dangerous concentrations of power impossible."